Toxicity is corrosive. It eats away like a parasite from within. Then whether it’s a metal or your mental health, nothing stands in the way. The toxicity that we all face in our everyday lives in the form of the people around us can be a tough phase.
If it’s a toxic friend, you can cut them off. With a toxic boss, you can possibly change jobs. However, how to deal with toxic parents? With toxic parents, you’re bound unwillingly to them. The “out of sight, out of mind” technique fails here. Dealing with such parents can be an extremely challenging feat emotionally because it’s not only the toxicity that attacks you, it’s the denial of the person that is subjecting you to it.
Because cutting them off isn’t an option, it’s hard to escape the internal torment. The mental torture isn’t just the end of it. The consequences of living in such an unhealthy household precede individual damage. Mental illness is the beginning, the foundations of which are cemented by toxic parents. These children, sadly, take it with them into adulthood only to exhibit similar behavior in their parenthood. It’s one wrong parenting that affects an entire line of generation.
With the onset of quarantine, the small moments of escape that such children had were stolen. The pandemic is a hard time for everyone but all the more so for people fighting the isolation along with the toxic environment. The hopelessness can be overwhelming, so here’s a few tips on how to deal with a toxic parent during a lockdown.
Dealing with Toxic Parents during Quarantine
The following article may seem like something you’ve known all along. However, suffocating within the invisible bounds of toxicity can blur your sense of judgment. With shattered self-esteem and wavering mental health, you’ve already got a lot on your plate to think straight.
Identify signs of toxic parents
A single disagreement or a petty argument doesn’t mean the parent is toxic. Like any other human, parents too can make mistakes. However, as a person closely associated to them, you must realize when the conflicts are reigning over your mental stability. The fact that they’re your parents often tends you to stretch your threshold and be more accommodating. But sometimes this can mean you’re allowing a toxic relationship with your parents without even realizing it.
Be it your violation of personal space or unrealistic expectations that seem to remain unfulfilled for life, evaluate the red flags and how to deal with toxic parents. This is the first step to realizing that you indeed are subjected to an unhealthy environment and need to escape it.
You have a Choice
The toxicity from parents can leave you hopeless and rejected. The feeling of not being enough or useless often makes you unable to trust yourself. After all, if your own parents don’t appreciate you why would anyone else do it, right? WRONG.
As an individual with a mental health to protect, you are fully independent of the bounds and restrictions that your parents subject you to. Once you recognize your potential and think of yourself as a person separate from your parents, you will start to see that you can choose who to be accountable to and if your parents are too toxic you can choose to shut them out. But isn’t that disrespectful? Doesn’t this mean I’ll make a bad son/daughter? Well, you’ve got to start by answering who decided to the bad guy in this situation first? Your toxic parents.
Many children spend their lives trying to validate themselves in the eyes of their parents. After all, that’s what all children aim to do – make their parents proud.
There are parents that will criticize their child before uttering even a word of appreciation. They will grab every opportunity to put you down and no matter what you do, there just doesn’t seem to be a way to please them. With more time spent facing your parents, how to save yourself from toxic parents? Stop trying to please them. If they really had an intention to appreciate you they would have done so the first time.
Well, maybe I can change how they view me, I can sit down and explain it to them? Toxicity doesn’t go away just because you told it to. Parents with toxic traits most likely have personality disorders which need therapeutic treatment. So stop trying to even change them this could majorly backfire with them now being more adamant to target you.
The first step towards toxicity is when parents disrespect personal space, privacy and opinions. When your individuality is in question, you need to take a stand even if it’s against your parents. During quarantine, putting physical distance is out of question so chances of personal attacks can be more frequent.
Define your boundaries and recognize them so that you know what to enforce. Be it your weight or your social life, let your parents know subtly but firmly that their interference is not welcome. It is the same technique with any other toxic person. The control of your life is always in your hands. Remember that.
Be Mindful Of What You Share
Dealing with toxic parents during quarantine is a continuous nightmare and when you’re sharing the same space you’re bound to share a lot of things. However, be extremely careful of what you share with such parents. If you feel that they can hold any kind of information to manipulate of vituperate you just abstain from telling them.
This certainly does not mean that you’re lying to them, you’re just with-holding information that safeguards your mental health.
Ask for Help
Let a friend or maybe an expert help you. In the pandemic where managing an exit strategy can be rather limited, make good use of online portals. You can always arrange an appointment with a therapist or you can take help from a friend.
Taking care of yourself is the first line of defense when dealing with toxic parents in the quarantine. Make sure you know your limits. Never give in to a power struggle with your parents. Rather make a way around it. Instead of expecting them to be flexible, you change your ways such that you can minimize sour interactions with. Don’t give them a topic to exploit. The lack of personalization will eventually help you deal with the detachment and distance with your parents.